Unplugged Computer Science Course Outline for 3rd Graders

CS Intro course


1. Introduction to Computer Science

  • Objective: Grasp what computer science encompasses and the role of a computer scientist.
  • Activity: “Computer Scientist for a Day” role-play game.

2. Sequences in Coding

  • Objective: Understand sequences as the backbone of coding instructions.
  • Activity: “Coding Dance Party” where students arrange dance moves in a sequence.

3. Understanding Variables

  • Objective: Learn how variables store and manage information.
  • Activity: “Variable Treasure Hunt” using index cards and classroom objects.

4. Conditionals in Coding

  • Objective: Explore decision-making in code through conditionals.
  • Activity: “Conditional True or False” game with scenarios to decide on.

5. Discovering Loops

  • Objective: Learn how loops repeat actions efficiently in coding.
  • Activity: “Loop Around the Classroom” with repetitive physical activities.

6. Functions in Computer Science

  • Objective: Introduce the concept of functions to perform specific tasks.
  • Activity: “Magic Function Box” where actions are turned into functions.

7. Debugging and Problem-Solving

  • Objective: Teach the process of identifying and correcting errors in sequences.
  • Activity: “Detective Debuggers” with a storyboard or sequence puzzle.

8. Events in Computer Science

  • Objective: Understand how events trigger actions in programming.
  • Activity: “Event Relay Race” with specific triggers for actions.

9. Algorithms and Their Importance

  • Objective: Grasp how algorithms solve problems through step-by-step instructions.
  • Activity: “Algorithm Chef” with recipe creation as an analogy.

10. Understanding Data Types

  • Objective: Learn about different types of data used in programming.
  • Activity: “Data Sorting” with objects categorized by various criteria.

11. Data Representation

  • Objective: Explore the representation of information in computer systems.
  • Activity: “Binary Beads” creating bracelets with binary codes.

12. Computer Networks and the Internet

  • Objective: Introduce the basics of how computers connect and the internet works.
  • Activity: “Web of Connections” game to illustrate networking.

13. Cybersecurity Basics

  • Objective: Highlight the importance of online safety and security practices.
  • Activity: “Safe Surfing” with role-play on making smart internet decisions.

14. Course Review and Project

  • Objective: Consolidate learning with a review and apply knowledge in a creative project.
  • Activity: “Create Your Own Adventure” where students design a paper-based game or story.


This course outline provides a comprehensive introduction to computer science concepts for third graders, emphasizing hands-on, unplugged activities to make learning about technology engaging and accessible. Each lesson is designed to build on the previous one, though they can also stand alone, allowing for flexibility in teaching.


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